This is sort of a re-review. This game could've been amazing. Instead it's mediocre with a lot of untapped potential.
Of course, if the characters were at all original that might make a difference. They're not. Nearly every character you fight as has been ripped from another FF game. There's main heroine Lightning, a.k.a. Ashe from FF XII, whiney girly-boy Hope, a.k.a. a very annoying version of Vaan from FF XII, the irritating doofus Snow, who best reminds me of Zell from FF VIII if he joined a grunge band and bought one of Seifer's trench coats from a thrift store, Sahsz (I know I didn't spell it right) the token black guy, who starts off kind of funny, but reverts to a whiney jerk like everybody else, Vanille, a.k.a. an Australian Selphie from FF VIII and Fang, whose kind of a butch lesbian version of Lulu from FF X. Besides the token black guy, all the other characters are slight alterations of previous FF games.Only whiney and moody. Lightening barely has a personality (much like Ashe), which makes her the most likeable character of the bunch.
I am able to enjoy this a little more this time around though. Mainly because I already know about these flaws and have had time to cool off over my extreme dissapointment in this as a Final Fantasy game. This is definitely the worst entry yet. Still, as a stand alone game, there's plenty to enjoy here if you have the patience to endure. It just sucks that there's such wasted potential here. This could have been the best entry yet if Squenix took the time to flesh the characters out and let players get to know the game world. Instead you only get a bunch of poorly attempted dramatic monologues and forced conversations from character we don't have nearly enough insight with to appreciate their plight. And you get many battles down alleys and walkways while getting to see what looks to be an amazing world in the background. Still, I have hopes that XIII-2 and Lightning returns will address these issues and possibly renew my faith in Square Enix and Final Fantasy. SInce Dragon Quest is now a mobile series for Nintendo, it's really all I have left from these guys besides Eidos games.
I originally reviewed the 360 version a couple years ago. If you'd care to read my orignal thoughts on this game and how they've changed (or not) with time, the link is: